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Windows Native Update Preview Available for Configuration Manager Users

Microsoft is previewing the ability for IT departments using its Configuration Manager tool to give their Windows users a so-called "native inbox experience" when getting updates, according to a Thursday announcement.

This native inbox experience pops up notices about coming Windows updates and system restarts, offering a "more user friendly experience." It permits organizations using Configuration Manager "to leverage the native Windows Update orchestration and user experience," explained Aria Carley, a program manager on the Windows updates team.

Moreover, this approach will respect the "active hours" set by users, or set by Windows itself, which aims to deliver updates when users aren't working.

The native inbox experience delivers prompts that are similar to what home Windows users see. The use of Windows Update for Business for management also brings these user friendly prompts, according to Carley. Windows Update for Business is a bunch of cloud-based management configurations from Microsoft that leverage the Windows Update service.

Moreover, the message in the pop-up box that users see can be branded with an organization's name, if wanted.

The native inbox experience is currently at the preview stage and requires using Configuration Manager version 2110. On the client side, the native inbox experience requires using "Windows Insider Preview build 21277 or later."

IT pros have to follow some steps in Configuration Manager to set up the native inbox experience, as shown in this Microsoft video. Those changes won't affect existing configuration settings, according to Carley.

"All of your typical configurations in Client Policy, Software Updates, and Computer Agent will still apply and will not change," she noted.

The use of the native inbox experience is said to provide a consistent experience when workloads get transitioned the cloud. Carley explained that "when you start transitioning certain update workloads to the cloud, end users will have the same great update experience across the board, regardless of where they are getting the update from, be it Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or Windows Update."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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